If Prathibha Parthasarathy’s musical journey reflected her life, then the recurrent chorus would be the city of Bengaluru. A computer engineer by education, an MBA by qualification and a change in the sphere of imparting musical knowledge, Pratibha is the founder of Pratibha’s Music e-Cademy – one of the first and few online music schools in the country.
Born in Chennai and trained in formal Carnatic classical music for 10 years, Pratibha has studied in Pilani and worked in Mumbai — only to come back to Bengaluru which serves as a second home to her. “I have travelled quite a bit but always come back to Bengaluru. Why not, this city has the best audience and it is here that I have collaborated with the best in the field. The contemporary music culture of the city is unparalleled,” says the 29-year-old who has worked with over 30 artists and bands to produce quirky fusion music videos for her popular YouTube channel Pratibha’s Music.
A connoisseur of drastically changing the ethos of every fusion video that she puts together, Pratibha’s channel features everything from ragas sung in rock music renditions to mash ups of songs from OK Kanmani (which was aired on BBC Asian Radio recently). “Carnatic rock fusion, a capella, EDM, I have done it all. All my videos are shot in a studio space with professionals. I am a routine collaborator and most of the people I work with are in different parts of the world. It was during these projects that I discovered that distance is hardly a factor when it comes to music, thanks to technology. Based on this belief, I set up my Academy,” says the woman whose voice is frequently heard on the radio.
With students from the US, the UK, Belgium, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and all over India signing up for Skype lessons from her, the Music e-Cademy is Pratibha’s crowning achievement. “When we used to study classical music, we sat in classes of 20 or more and had the same treatment meted out to all of us, irrespective of what genre we might be interested in. That is the first thing I sought to remove with my academy. We tailor to the needs of a 50 year old retired man seeking solace in Carnatic music to a four-year-old whose parents are looking to start her off in Western classical,” says the singer with 300 odd performances in her kitty.